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CALL TO ACTION! Dallas Advocacy Chair attends JDRF Government Day

March 27, 2012

From Kim Roosevelt, JDRF Greater Dallas Chapter Board Member and Government Relations Chair

From March 3 – 6, 2012 I attended JDRF’s Annual Government Day Conference in Washington DC and visited with our Texas Legislators and their staff. The goal of the conference and the visits was to secure assurance that our elected representatives would again renew the Special Diabetes Program, which provides 35% of the federally-funded type 1 research.

About the Special Diabetes Program

In 1997, JDRF worked with Congress to create the Special Diabetes Program. It consists of two components – the Special Statutory Funding Program for Type 1 Diabetes Research and the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) that is focused on treatment for Native Americans with diabetes. Currently, each program is funded at $150 million per year and is set to expire on September 30, 2013. Therefore, it is important that the renewal of the SDP is approved by Congress this year, 2012.

Although Congress has renewed this program in the past, the government is currently on a course to enact $1.2 trillion in cuts across the board to nearly all government programs, a process known as “sequestration”. These cuts are scheduled to begin January 2, 2013. Unfortunately, for us, medical research, including type 1 research, is NOT spared from sequestration cuts which have the potential to choke off and halt the progress of current research projects.

Kim Roosevelt with Congressman Ralph Hall

Take Action!

We must do our part to insure valuable type 1 research continues. I strongly urge you to contact your Representative’s office today, if possible. Each call they receive from a constituent represents 300 votes for them. (They do listen and take notice when a voter / constituent calls.) When you call, tell them you are a constituent, your story of living with diabetes, and ask that your representative support the Special Diabetes Program by signing the letter sponsored by Representative Whitfield (if they are a Republican) or Congresswoman DeGette (if they are a Democrat). Ask them to contact those offices for instructions on how to sign on or for any other questions. The deadline for signing the letter of support is March 30, 2012.

Area Representatives Contact Info (name, number and staff member):

Congressman Louie Gohmert, 1st District
865-535-6302 (toll free) or 202-225-3035, or e-mail his legislative assistant, J. Austin Smithson at

Congressman Sam Johnson, 3rd District
202-225-4201 or e-mail his health policy advisor Beth A. Nelson at

Congressman Ralph Hall, 4th District
202-225-6673 or e-mail his assistant Kyle Oliver at

Congressman Jeb Hensarling, 5th District
202-226-4888 or e-mail Yonnick Hammond at

Congressman Bill Flores, 17th District
202-225-6105 or e-mail Jon Oehmen at

Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, 30th District
202-225-8885 or e-mail Jamie lee Jackson at

Congressman Pete Sessions, 32nd District
202-225-5878 or e-mail

Not sure who your Representative is?

To locate your Representatives name and contact information for your area, visit and enter your zip code in the top, right-hand corner.

I met with all the staff members listed above, they’re polite and will be happy to speak to you. They’re familiar with the SDP; they just need to be reminded of the deadline soon approaching on March 30, 2012. To date, only Congressman Sessions has signed onto the letter. We must urge the other offices to act now.

Please do not hesitate to email me with any questions – I can be reached at

For more information on the Special Diabetes Program, please go to

To learn more about the JDRF Dallas chapter, visit our JDRF Dallas website!

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